2014-12-16 09:51:19 by Dr. Joe Congeni - Director of Sports Medicine, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.
Photo: Big West Conference - CC/Flickr
After many years of study, pitching motion guru Glenn Fleisig from the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala., stated he believes we’ve topped out at just under 105 mph on how fast a human can throw a fastball.
Fleisig attributes this to the frailty of ligaments and tendons that are already stretched to the limit by the pitching motion.
Today, I had the chance to speak with WAKR host Ray Horner about this topic. We also discussed Fleisig’s finding that it’s best for young throwers to pitch off a flat surface, instead of the mound.
Below is an audio file and transcript of our discussion.
HORNER: Our good friend, Dr. Joe Congeni from Sports Medicine Center at Akron Children’s Hospital, is on board with us right now. Joe, good morning. Thanks for coming in. You want to talk a little baseball, huh?
DR. CONGENI: Yeah. Baseball’s heating up, right Ray? Is the Tribe still alive? I think we are, aren’t we?
HORNER: Ohhh yeah. It’s fun, isn’t it?
DR. CONGENI: It is fun. I’m really enjoying this. You know, we’ve all counted the Indians out and they keep bouncing back, so it’s fun.
DR. CONGENI: There were a couple of studies by this gentleman that’s known as the guru of studying the pitching motion, the pitching movement pattern. His name is Glenn Fleisig. He’s down at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham (Alabama). He’s been studying this for over 20 years.
So, all this movement pattern stuff I’ve talked to you about — watching how people serve a tennis ball so they do it better and prevent injury or bat speed and things like that — people have been looking at the pitching motion for a long time. And, Glenn Fleisig has been right in the middle of it.
Dr. Joe Congeni
I think part of the reason is because we don’t do so . We’re looking at upwards of 40 to 50 percent of young pitchers end up with injuries still.
You know at the highest level, the latest one this year is Matt Harvey, the great young flamethrower from the New York Mets is hurt. He’s down in Dr. Andrews’ office.
Last year, it was Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals). You know, right here in Cleveland we have our phenom Danny Salazar, but he had an ulnar collateral ligament tear a year or two ago and Tommy John surgery.
So, it seems like so many of these flamethrowers break down. And, in the conclusion of years of study, Glenn Fleisig came out — two different studies I want to touch on — and said, he thinks that we’ve topped out on how fast a human can throw a fastball. That surprised me a little. He thinks just under 105 (mph), where some of these people are, we’re not able to get any faster than that.
(8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
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